Cocoa Tales: Episode Seventeen

Chapter Four: Being a Brief Synopsis of [INSERT TITLE HERE]

"I’m confused," Jessica said as she scanned the room. "If the Storyteller doesn’t know what’s going on, why are any of us here?"

It’s complicated, I said, just know that I’ll figure this out. We ask that you be patient during this crisis and await a positive conclusion.

"Well I feel properly placated," Harold said in a sarcastic tone.

That’s not helping, Harry.

"All right, all right," Harold said drumming his desk briefly, "what will help? How does a real writer get through this?"

I glared at him and the sarcasm in his italic tone, and then I took a deep breath, shut my eyes and proudly said, He doesn’t fall victim to writer’s block, he forges through it with reckless abandon.

Harold sat at his desk, nervously ruffling papers until there was a knock at the door. "Come in," he said, clicking his ball point pen open and closed a couple times before setting it on his desk.

Floyd held the door open for Holiday who scanned the office as she entered, made eye contact with Harold and introduced herself.

"And this is Detective Floyd," she said, gesturing to Floyd. "We have a few questions about the explosion at Shasta High School."

"I thought you might," Harold said through slits of eyelids. "Yes, I was responsible for the complete destruction of Shasta High School. I am become your mortal enemy, Floyd and Holiday, and all who stand in my way will meet death by flames."

Harold turned to me and said, "I’m the enemy now?"

I sighed, shook my head and said, No, that’s not working. Let’s go it again.

Harold sat at his desk, nervously ruffling papers until there was a knock at the door. "Come in," he said, clicking his ball point pen open and closed a few times before setting it on his desk.

Floyd held the door open for Holiday who scanned the office as she entered, made eye contact with Harold and introduced herself.

"And this is Detective Floyd," she said, gesturing to Floyd. "We have a few questions about the explosion at Shasta High School."

"I thought you might," Harold said, "for I am not who you think I am. Timid Harold, banker and victim of feline trickery, is really the great protector of this city: I am, Shastaman!"

Harold turned to me again and said, "Really?"

I’m just throwing things against a wall and seeing what sticks! We’ll go again!

Harold sat at his desk, angrily ruffling papers until there was a pound at the door. "Come," he said, throwing his ball point pen in the trash and crossing his arms.

Holiday opened her own door and Floyd waited in the hallway. She made eye contact with Harold and said, "You know who we are."

"Yes," Harold said, "you are my long, lost parents!"

Jessica turned to me. "Seriously!? I’m younger than he is!"

Well, you got a better idea!?

"How about you ditch this shocking revelation nonsense and just tell the story!?"

It’s a turn, I need something cathartic to send the reader into the next act.

"You need a life is what you need," Jessica grumbled.

Floyd entered from the hallway and said, "Okay, look: Storyteller, are you aware you’ve never revealed Harold’s last name?"

Scratching my neck, I shake my head. No, I said, I guess I haven’t.

"There’s probably a reason for that. Your muse probably had a plan for him so we just need to figure out what it is." He turned to Harold and said, "What’s your last name?"

Harold shrugged. "He never told me," he said, gesturing to me.

"How can you not know what your last name is?" Floyd stated.

"I dunno," Harold replied, "is ‘Floyd’ your first or last name?"

Floyd’s eyebrows pursed. "Good point," he said.

Gotta think about this, gotta think about how Cocoa got her funds for the kitty bombs...

Floyd lifted a finger. "Kitty bombs? Is that what we saw at the school?"

Who else lives in the woods and has seemingly limitless funds?

I smiled.

Of course.

Harold sat at his desk, confused, but ruffling papers all the same until there was a knock at the door. "Come in," he said, clicking his ball point pen open and closed once before setting it on his desk.

Floyd held the door open for Holiday who scanned the office as she entered, made eye contact with Harold and introduced herself.

"And this is Detective Floyd," she said, gesturing to Floyd. "We have a few questions about the explosion at Shasta High School."

"I thought you might," Harold said in a somber tone, "for I am the one responsible for keeping Cocoa Tael alive these past six months in the home owned by Montgomery Gerald. My father."

In stunned silence, Floyd and Jessica looked at each other, Floyd’s eyes wide, Jessica rolling her own before they turned back to Harold.

"Yes, my name is Harold Gerald, and we’re all in great trouble."

Leaning close to me Jessica said, "What’s with the inflated dialogue?"

It’s dramatic closure. Now shut up.